How Small to Medium-sized Businesses Can Tackle the World of Sales Enablement

The decision has been made, this is the year your company is going to crush the competition. Although your reps have made great strides in closing more deals, siloed content and inefficient processes have resulted in missed opportunities.

Opportunities that could have taken you that much closer to reaching your goal, if not achieving it. What if you could put processes in place that will help sales increase conversion rates?

According to CSO Insights recent study Sales Enablement Grows Up: 4th Annual Sales Enablement Study, companies with sales enablement reported a more than 22% increase in the number of sales reps achieving quota, and win rates for forecast deals rose by 14%.

While sales enablement consists of numerous components, there are a few key areas that can make a nearly immediate impact on sales rep’s success and your bottom line.

Align Sales Processes to the Customer’s Buying Journey

Do you know your targeted buyer persona’s, their research and purchasing preferences? A customer-centric approach to sales enablement requires looking at your processes from the customer’s vantage point.

Your sales processes need to be tightly aligned to each step along the customer journey and appropriate for your targeted buyers. But, since customer needs and desires are dynamic, a static sales approach could result in prospects abandoning their journey.

To keep prospects engaged, you need the ability to quickly adapt to an increasingly dynamic environment.  

Let’s take a high-level look at the key stages of the buyer’s journey Awareness, Consideration and Decision/Purchase, and how sales enablement can keep prospects advancing through the funnel.

Awareness Phase: Decision makers at this phase of the journey are looking at their competition and asking questions such as ‘what are they doing’, ‘how do my products or services stack-up?’, and ‘what would give me a competitive advantage’?

When their competitors are already using your products, questions such as ‘what type of products are they?’ and ‘how can they also help me?’ begin to surface.

During this phase, you should focus on delivering high-level and industry-specific content.

By providing prospects with an array of informational material such as blog posts, infographics, eBooks, LinkedIn articles, editorial content, and industry white papers, prospects will be armed with the knowledge they need to move to the next step in their journey, the consideration phase.

Consideration Phase: During this phase, prospect engagements should focus on how your products will solve their challenges.

Nurturing prospects through this phase requires an intimate understanding of their issues and laser focus on delivering the right content, at the right time. Throughout this stage, material, webinars, and presentations shouldn’t be too salesy, but rather emphasize the benefits of your products in relationship to the prospect’s pain points.

Material such as product sheets, case studies, product demo videos, and product comparison white papers should be shared. This phase is all about making a strong business case for your products.

Decision/Purchase Phase: The final stage in the buying funnel is when prospects need validation and reassurance that the decision to go with your company is the right one.

By this phase, you should have built the foundation of a trusting relationship with the prospect.

To make the final buying decision, prospects want to be assured that they are receiving a quality product, the best value for their money and that your products will resolve their challenges faster and more efficiently than your competitors’ products.

To help sway the purchasing decision your way, content should include competitive analysis, return on investment (ROI) / total cost of ownership (TCO) information, customer testimonials, third-party data, detailed product literature, and when possible free trials or incentives.   

So, the journey has come to an end? Far from it.

Now that you’ve won the customer, you’ve entered the post-purchase phase. Continued engagements can be the difference between a loyal customer advocate and one that cuts ties with you and moves to a competitor.

Ongoing nurturing is not only essential to keep your hard-won customers, but it can also have a positive impact on recurring revenue.

While you don’t want to overwhelm customers with a constant bombardment of material, it’s vital to keep them informed and educated.

For example, upgrades, new purchases or expansion opportunities can lead to additional revenue, while at the same time making your customers feel nurtured and empowered.

Content can and should include newsletters, product sheets on new or enhanced products, white papers, analyst reports, industry news, event invitations, etc.  

Enable Sales with Sales Enablement

With such a wide variety of content at your disposal, how can you be sure you’re sending the right material, at the right time, to the right buyer persona.

And when questions arise, are you able to quickly respond with the most appropriate and up-to-date material?

If we take another look at the buyer journey, what would happen at the awareness stage if you combined an eBook with a detailed competitive analysis?  Or, what do you suppose the prospect’s reaction would be if you sent a highly technical white paper to the CMO? Chances are either of these scenarios would raise serious concerns about your ability to be a trusted partner that could resolve their challenges.

Enablix takes the guesswork out of what material to send, when and to whom. Sales reps no longer need to sift through multiple apps or sites to find the content needed.

They provide a centralized hub that not only delivers a single source of relevant material for easy discovery and access, but it also infuses intelligence into the content process ensuring the material is appropriate for each stage of the buyer’s journey.

Since decayed content is no longer in the collateral mix, your reps are assured that they are sending the most up-to-date content available.

With Enablix, SMBs are gaining content clarity, allowing them to sell as much as 3x faster. Download the Minimize Sales Barriers with a Winning Content Management Strategy guide to learn more about the vital role content management plays in your sales enablement strategy.

Minimize Sales Barriers with a Winning Content Management Strategy

Does sales know what is published on company’s website?

Organizations, big and small, are putting a lot of marketing content on their website. With the continued success of inbound marketing and to build mindshare among prospects and customers, organization’s websites are rich with, both, gated and non-gated content. Well crafted Whitepapers, Blogs, Case Studies, Analyst Reports, Industry News, etc. are available for consumption and subsequent action.

However, we see that organizations are limiting themselves by leveraging this content only to drive inbound leads and build mindshare. They are missing out big time on using this content in later stages of the buyer’s journey. Enabling SDRs (Sales Development Reps), AEs (Account Executives), and CSMs (Customer Success Managers) with relevant content can yield significant dividends.

Here are some concrete steps for marketing and sales enablement to make most of this missed opportunity:

  • Funnel Focus. Don’t treat your website content with a single purpose of generating leads. Explore opportunities to leverage this content down the funnel at different stages of the buyer’s journey. Furthermore, it will drive efficiency. For the same effort, your customer-facing teams will have more options to engage their prospects/customers and drive relevant and effective conversations.

 

  • Connecting the Dots. We know that you want to avoid redundancy. If a prospect has already downloaded a whitepaper from your website, you don’t want your SDR to be sharing that whitepaper again with the same prospect. That is why connecting the dots between your inbound content engagement and your outbound enablement efforts is important. Providing your sales team visibility on content engagement will help drive intelligent conversations and reduce the risk of redundant messages. Your ability to measure content engagement is another added benefit. By connecting the dots across the funnel, you can measure which content is more effective and continue to refine your investment in content creation and distribution.

 

  • Consolidating Access. This is hugely important. We all know your customer-facing teams are busy. And they are not going to hop around from one system to another to find the right content for their conversations. Hence it is very important that irrespective of where the content resides (i.e. your Cloud Storage, your Website, Marketing Automation etc.), there has to be a single access point for that content. The moment you require your AE to step out of one app and access another app, you have diluted their engagement. They are less likely to follow that route next time. And more likely to email you (drain on your productivity) requesting that content.

 

  • Relevant and Quality Content. One of our customers has 200+ Blog entries on their website. And while that is awesome, you don’t want to overwhelm your reps with too much content. Providing the right content to your account team is important. And that is why you need to invest in tools that will help you filter and identify relevant content for a particular scenario.

 

Reusing your content is the single biggest opportunity for a marketing team to drive efficiency and sales enablement. Not every member of your customer or prospect account is up-to-date on your content. Arming your account team with quality content elevates the quality of their outbound conversations. It is a win-win for everyone and a no-brainer.

 
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Win Analysis and Case Studies

Win Analysis and Case Studies are popular collateral vehicles for B2B marketers. They both are important to demonstrate credibility and scale your success. However these content types are to be used in different contexts. And this is where we see a lot of organizations incorrectly applying a wrong type of content and thereby diluting its value to the targeted audience.

To put it simply, Win Analysis are created to highlight “What Worked for You” and Case Studies are geared towards elaborating on “What Worked for Your Customers”. You see, they are very different in their value and how they get leveraged in the field. Here is a short actionable comparison that will help further distill the unique characteristics of these content types,

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Let us know how you are using Win Analysis and Case Studies in your organization to drive sales success.